Shillong, Sept 15: The demand for probe into alleged misuse of Central funds in the autonomous district councils in the state grew louder, with the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Dr Mukul Sangma demanding an independent inquiry into the alleged siphon of funds in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) and urged the Governor, Satya Pal Malik to also impose an Administrator’s Rule in the Council.
In his letter to the Governor on Tuesday, the Leader of Opposition said, “There is a serious allegation of rampant corruption that has allegedly taken place in ADCs (Autonomous District Councils) particularly in GHADC. There have been media reports earlier based on information made available by RTI activists regarding the alleged corruption in GHADC. The allegations are serious in nature and revolve around alleged misappropriation and siphoning-off of crores of rupees from the developmental fund provided to GHADC for the development of backward tribal areas and for the welfare of our poor tribal residents.”
The demand came in the wake of the Meghalaya BJP unit which is a partner of the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government demanded a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of Central funds in the two district councils – Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).
Seeking an immediate inquiry into the corruption, the former Chief Minister said unless it is done urgently the evidence of the crime would be destroyed.
He informed the Governor that “It is an irony that the fund released to the ADCs were based on our continuous and productive engagement with the concerned ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, for providing special allocation of fund to the ADCs for development and welfare of the people in backward tribal areas in view of the fact that the 14th Finance Commission Recommendation did not cover ADCs for receiving of grant/award under the recommendation of the 14thFinance Commissions unlike for the Panchayati Raj institutions.”
He also said that financial mismanagement and alleged corruption in GHADC has brought untold sufferings to the employees of the council due to non-payment of salaries for the last two years crippling the functioning of the ADC and defeating the very purpose of its existence.
“I have also reason to believe that the allegations have enough substance and express my apprehension, based on the inputs received, that a concerted effort is being put for destruction of the evidence of the alleged corruption by the people in authority which must be prevented immediately in the interest of the people of the State,” Sangma said in his letter while urging the Governor to invoke the provision of Para 16 (2) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and institute an independent enquiry as per law in the best interest of the people and the State.
“Delay in action shall facilitate the people involved in the alleged corruption to get off scot-free; embolden corrupt people and thus perpetuate corruption,” Sangma noted in his letter.